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Palmarum

SFPS Spring Garden Tour - Miami, Florida

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Palmarum

- 11:11AM: The Borassus aethiopum deserved another look and on closer inspection it was discovered to be in bloom, with different inflorescences emerging from all sides of the leaf bases.

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- The immediate area in front of the house was landscaped with an array of palms, ferns and low growing plants. It was kept sparse as to show off the style of the house, including the large windows and column-enhanced entryway. Jeff must have said something, as Andrea was stretching out her fingers, getting ready for a slap.

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- 11:12AM: A pair of Cuban Petticoat Palms, Copernicia macroglossa start growing upwards...

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- At first glance I thought this to be a Bailey Palm, Copernicia baileyana but it also resembles a C. gigas in size and appearance. It could be either species, as I could not get a confirmed ID from John.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 11:12AM: Ron mentioned how this bushy Pinanga sp. was growing unprotected, out in full blazing sun with no problems.

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- 11:13AM: I glanced over the fence gate leading to the backyard, to notice this fruiting Buccaneer Palm, Pseudophoenix sargentii up near the wall of the house. The inflorescence looked a little different than usual and I wondered if this was possibly the 'var. navassana' or the subspecies 'saonae'.

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- 11:14AM: "It looks like a large Kentia Palm (Howea forsteriana), but they don't grow in Florida, so it must be fake."

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- The mass of tour goers were still scattered around in the front yard. The majority had started to form a group, while following John around the yard in a clockwise fashion. They started in the NE corner and slowly headed towards the backyard.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 11:14AM: These tours will bring out and reinforce the plant collecting and growing spirit in every enthusiast that attends. I heard all sorts of comments, conversations and statements referring to 'what to add to the want list' and 'I can't wait until my palm grows up to look like that one' and so on. A common side effect is cross group enthusiasm, when a unique plant of a certain family sparks interest in a new plant group to a palm fanatic, whether it be orchids, bromeliads, crotons, ferns, etc. The reverse is also true, as there were non-palm people on the tour who were getting a crash course to the world of palms, which could lead to addiction.

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- An old palm for sure, no doubt about that. This is a tall Coccothrinax miraguama subsp. havanensis. The leaves have a strong silver underside and are stiff and rigid. The leaf bases form a dense, interwoven fibrous surface that resembled something almost artificial.

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- 11:15AM: Zooming out, you can see just how tall this palm was. SFPS Director Lou Squros was standing next to it and videotaping the tour.

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- To the right of the Coccothrinax miraguama subsp. havanensis, was an equally tall Livistona decora and a grouping of Cuban Royal Palms, Roystonea regia. Tour Host Jeff Chait and collector Rosita Stoik were having a good time looking at the palms behind me.

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Ryan

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MattyB

MattyB

Great coverage Ryan. I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

I'm not 100%, but I think this bamboo looks more like Gigantachloea atroviolacea. The Timor Lako is usually smaller and glossier brown/black with green stripes.

moose knuckle

Matt - how could you tell from that photo? ... I think you hurt Ryan's feelings correcting his ID. ... Now he has stopped posting on this very nice thread!

Lol :rolleyes: I took a break to go get some dinner, food powers the memory and the fingers. The photo came out darker than I had wanted, but there are green stripes on the culms and that is considered to be a small to moderate clump of bamboo here in South Florida. I have had containerized Timor Black Bamboo that have sent up culms without green stripes, as they emerge green and fade to very dark purple, sometimes completely and missing the stripes. I have heard from a veteran Bamboo grower I know from a nearby garden club, Mike Kellum that the better way of telling them apart is from the emergent shoots. Gigantochloa is very close to Bambusa and will probably be lumped into Bambusa in the near future.

Ryan

No, it's Gigantochloea atroviolacea. The culms are flat not glossy and you can see the tell tale black/green fade. I rule you!!!!! :mrlooney:

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Moose

MattyB

Great coverage Ryan. I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

I'm not 100%, but I think this bamboo looks more like Gigantachloea atroviolacea. The Timor Lako is usually smaller and glossier brown/black with green stripes.

moose knuckle

Matt - how could you tell from that photo? ... I think you hurt Ryan's feelings correcting his ID. ... Now he has stopped posting on this very nice thread!

Lol rolleyes.gif I took a break to go get some dinner, food powers the memory and the fingers. The photo came out darker than I had wanted, but there are green stripes on the culms and that is considered to be a small to moderate clump of bamboo here in South Florida. I have had containerized Timor Black Bamboo that have sent up culms without green stripes, as they emerge green and fade to very dark purple, sometimes completely and missing the stripes. I have heard from a veteran Bamboo grower I know from a nearby garden club, Mike Kellum that the better way of telling them apart is from the emergent shoots. Gigantochloa is very close to Bambusa and will probably be lumped into Bambusa in the near future.

Ryan

No, it's Gigantochloea atroviolacea. The culms are flat not glossy and you can see the tell tale black/green fade. I rule you!!!!! mrlooney.gif

Matt - do we need to bring in the Palm Doctor to settle the ID issue? laugh.gif

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Palmarum

- 11:16AM: The southern tip of that first island planting bed was anchored by this impressive American Oil Palm, Attalea sp. I looked through my Palms of Brazil book trying to identify it, and this palm strongly resembles Attalea speciosa.

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- The tour continued to move towards the backyard one palm at a time. I continued to photograph at a rapid pace, trying to capture everything while moving from palm to person, and back to palm.

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- 11:17AM: A quick sprint to the west side of the property revealed this relatively small, but still impressive Borassus flabellifer. I think this is one of Ron's favorite palm genera.

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- After I took the shot above, I looked towards the backyard and noticed Jeff Chait staring intently at something, so naturally I had to investigate. I walked over to the side gate to see him examining this very unique looking Attalea species. This one was also a mystery, and it resembled Attalea maripa in leaf form, inflorescence and seed. On the other side of the yard, I noticed tour goers moving through into the back yard, so we ran back over to join the group.

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Ryan

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Palmarum
MattyB

No, it's Gigantochloea atroviolacea. The culms are flat not glossy and you can see the tell tale black/green fade. I rule you!!!!!...

I don't see how the gloss of the culms can be a key to identification, as the glossiness fades over time with the constant friction of the culms rubbing against each other, due to wind, competitive growth and just plain weather wear with age. Older culms are usually flat and rough due in part to this reason, and they usually have old brown spots where they often touch. Another thing to consider is the effect of the light used in a bamboo photo compared to seeing the plant in person. A camera flash can really bring out a gloss, compared to just standing in front of it with daylight shining upon the plant. The appearance of gloss can also be augmented with added moisture, which I have done before to add shine to plants.

Ryan

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palmislandRandy

A few more from John Greenleaf's impressive collection. :mrlooney:

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palmislandRandy

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palmislandRandy

A couple more!

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sick1166

wow very nice

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Zeeth

Please tell me how a Lipstick palm could survive 31F with no damage, while the Areca vestiaria was protected but sustained light damage! I simply don't understand it...

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Palmarum
Zeeth

Please tell me how a Lipstick palm could survive 31F with no damage, while the Areca vestiaria was protected but sustained light damage! I simply don't understand it...

It is one of those palm related mysteries that still drive growers and collectors crazy after all these years. We have only scratched the surface in regards to knowing exactly how palms grow and adapt to their environment. They can do amazing things while altering their biology to adapt to extreme situations, it is the one reason they are still found on the planet in large numbers and as different species. This last freeze exposed many newer species in cultivation to severe cold, and we have seen many surprises. For one fact, there is no straight line crossing through a temperature mark that says life above the mark, and death below for a certain species. It is a grey area. There are other considerations involving the survival of a certain palm, including the duration of the cold, point of severity during that duration, humidity, irrigation, proximity to moisture, planted or containerized, light exposure, wind exposure, specimen age and health, and so on. A large, planted established palm grown under optimal conditions has a much better chance of surviving severe cold exposure. One effect that might have led to the damage suffered by that tall Areca vestiaria var. 'Maroon Leaf' is the proximity to the metal cross beams of the Conservatory. They would have absorbed warmth away like a radiator creating a colder area in the higher areas near the screen. I did not ask if Jeff Block had protected anything during the cold, but there was evidence that he had not.

- 11:18AM: The bulk of the garden tour goers had made their way through the gate to enter the backyard, while continuing to be led around by the knowledgeable owner, and Tour Host John Greenleaf. He can be seen above Bill Olson, Sr.'s hat wearing the tan shirt. John was describing how he wanted to landscape the yard with views in mind, so he could be on his patio and see the majority of his collection. We were all listening while looking at a nearby Pseudophoenix vinifera.

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- I took a walk along the eastern side of the garden so I could use the rising light to photograph the backyard in a panoramic fashion, starting with this shot of the side of the house and moving to the left in order (1 of 4).

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- 11:19AM: (2 of 4) The garden was well manicured and had a 'larger than actual size' feel to it. The open areas of the yard gave longer views making it feel larger than it was. That circular staircase led up to a expansive, second story balcony that must have had great views of the collection. I didn't think about going up there until now. The overbearing 'rush' factor of the tour was always present and it made me skip certain aspects and photo opportunities. To the left of that Buccaneer Palm was an old Syagrus schizophylla covered with ferns.

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- (3 of 4) Turning slightly to the left a few degrees shows the pool patio and the surrounding landscape.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 11:19AM: (4 of 4) The last shot of the panorama shows the back edge of the property, filled with many palms, tropical fruit trees and a few exotics.

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- As I got closer to the back edge of the garden, I noticed it was one, long planting bed dotted with mature and smaller palm species. Those two Satakentia liukiuensis marked the halfway point in the width of the property. The showcase of Caribbean palms continued around the entire estate. They were featured everywhere, including back here with different Coccothrinax and Copernicia representatives.

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- The house is not original, as John explained they had replaced the smaller first house with this one. I didn't ask the age of the collection, but the size and maturity of the palms speak for themselves. Those rosette sized Copernicia palms to the right of the pool are C. gigas, with a smaller C. macroglossa in front of them.

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- 11:20AM: A multi-stemmed Senegal Date Palm, Phoenix reclinata, took up an entire bed by itself at the edge of the patio.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 11:20AM: "They look like giant onions." said one tour goer, possibly thinking about lunch, while another tour goer poses with these Queen Anne Crinum Lilies, Crinum asiaticum cv. 'Queen Anne'. They had been well trimmed to show off those reddish-burgundy stalks.

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- 11:22AM: The tour followed the lawn around the backyard and continued the 'clockwise' motion.

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- 11:24AM: Tour Host John Greenleaf took a moment to explain some of the differences between the Copernicia species, while standing in arms reach of this one C. gigas.

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- 11:25AM: In the center of the image, Andrea Searle, SFPS Director Sandra Farwell and FM. Randy Wiesner (palmisland) look over the selection of plants bordering the back of the property. A small Attalea cohune is in the extreme left of the photo, and a strange, unidentified Copernicia sp. is towards the right edge.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 11:25AM: The lawn curved around the southwest corner of the property and patio, and guided tour goers back towards the front yard. This part of the collection had a number of fruit bearing species, including mangoes and wax jambu trees.

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- The pool and patio created a relaxed atmosphere in addition to the great weather so people began to take rest on the various benches and seating areas.

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- 11:27AM: "Let's see this growing in California." Jeff Searle exclaimed as he held up this Alocasia leaf. It is hard to make out clearly, but lining the fence along the back of the property, were many Zombie Palms, Zombia antillarum, planted like a hedge.

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- 11:28AM: The tour schedule at this point in the day was getting a bit fuzzy, but we all figured the same hour and a half designated time limit at the first garden should be used here as well. Lunch was going to be served at the last garden of the day, around 1:30 in the afternoon, or whenever people arrived.

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Ryan

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Walter John

That's a lot of work Ryan, congratulations. Huge coverage, I'm tired now. Palms and money, what a combo.

Nice debate on the black bamboo, your turn Matty.

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Palmarum

- 11:29AM: With all the knowledge and experience walking around during the tour, mini-talks and presentations began to spring up. Society members, and other palm growers and collectors would start sharing information with anyone, usually triggered by walking near a specific species or after being asked a certain question. In the center of the photo under that Copernicia grouping, SFPS Director Lenny Goldstein proceeded to describe his experiences growing members of the genus.

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- 11:33AM: SFPS Director Rick Johnson studies a heavily sheered Bailey Palm, Copernicia baileyana.

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- 11:34AM: Stepping back a bit, I captured a good portion of the tour as it began to move through the backyard and over to the Bailey Palms. One tour goer had to point out the minor potassium deficiency on some of the older leaves.

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- 11:35AM: I heard a bit of an identification discussion going on near a planting bed behind me, so I spun around to find tour goers looking over another nice Copernicia ekmanii on the west side of the pool. This one had been trimmed up quite a bit and had the beginnings of a nice trunk. I noticed a pair of interesting fan palms in the bed next to it, so I had to go around to take a closer look...

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 11:36AM: I had to show another view of the C. ekmanii from the other side. Local grower and society member Bill Olson, Sr. was still in his Captain Morgan pose.

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- 11:38AM: The overall look of this Coccothrinax seemed familiar, so I found Tour Host John Greenleaf and asked for the identity. This is Coccothrinax scoparia, a palm seen in habitat during the 2006 IPS Biennial in the Dominican Republic. The fiber is very strong and stiff, with multiple layers. This species is hard to find with any considerable size and this specimen was on the verge of producing trunk.

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- In the immediate vicinity of the C. scoparia, was a cousin Coccothrinax clarensis. It is a smaller growing species, but had similar qualities, including matted fiber leaf bases and an unique silvery-bronze leaf underside.

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- 11:39AM: Here is a shot of the C. clarensis from the opposite side, showcasing the deeply split fan leaves. The leaves had a pronounced hastula and a noticeable, light-green hue.

RDG2010-03-27_11-39-15.jpg

Ryan

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Palmarum

- 11:41AM: The tour had reached the gate at the west side of the house, and we began to search through the densely planted beds nearby. I had made it back to this mystery Attalea sp., that I had spotted earlier in the tour. I still think it could be A. maripa, and had a few keys to go on, including old and new inflorescences.

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- This mystery Attalea had some super hard spathes on its inflorescences. Those paddle shaped spathes were made of a thick, dense wood and were quite heavy. The old spadices on the inside were firmly attached. John had kept them to give away during the tour, so they got snatched up in a hurry by tour goers, including one by me.

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- 11:42AM: A nearby Calyptronoma rivalis was hard to miss, as those upright leaves were practically waving at us with the breeze.

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- FM. Jeff Searle had pointed out a Heterospathe glauca planted not far away under the canopy.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 11:44AM: The mystery Attalea had a newly opened inflorescence just in time for the tour.

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- We left the backyard behind and proceed through the west edge of the front yard, heading for the street. As we were entering familiar territory once again, a few tour goers began to break from the group and make for their cars. The next garden was very close by.

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- 11:47AM: While unwisely standing in the street, I photographed the last few minutes of the tour at John Greenleaf's great garden.

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- John was a great host, as he welcomed us through his entire private palm sanctuary and answered every question with enthusiasm. He is a true palm fanatic and it was nice to see where he keeps growing his passion. I see him at the society sales and meetings and he will often be one of those hardcore bidders at auction time.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 11:49AM: As I was heading over to Jeff's truck I took a few parting shots of John's front yard. I knew from studying the map, it was a short drive back up the street to the next garden, so there was time to squeeze in a few more photos...

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Garden #3: The Tim Blake Collection

- 12:00PM: High Noon on a sunny South Florida Saturday. The 'short drive' became a mini ten minute side tour of surrounding properties and yards as we missed the turn to Tim's house. We saw a few yards of note, as the specimen palms were easy to spot from the street. When we made the last turn, we saw all the cars up ahead and arrived right at noon. The timing of the schedule had been spot on so far.

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- 12:01PM: I approached the entryway to the house to find FM. Randy Wiesner (palmisland) and Tour Host Tim Blake looking over the palms planted nearby. The collection included representatives from most of the popular plant groups and Tim's range for collecting showed no limits.

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- There was a half-moon shaped planting bed bordering the street and it was filled with plants from one end to the other and featured this impressive Sugar Palm, Arenga pinnata.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 12:02PM: Tour goers began to group together along Tim's driveway as he started the tour and his introduction. Cars continued to arrive and look for parking spaces as stragglers found their way here.

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- 12:03PM: I first saw Tim's collection during the last SFPS Garden tour that I had attended two years ago. I was eager to see how much individual plants had grown since then as I had heavily photographed his garden at that time. We started in the front yard, naturally and proceeded to go in a standard counter clockwise tour of the garden.

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- I did my usual run and shoot combo as I did my best to capture it all. I walked back to the entryway, as I noticed that large Rhapis multifida growing out from under the overhang.

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- "I remember that one." The very dark green foliage of the Syagrus amara made it stand out from a distance and I remembered that it had half as much trunk, two years ago. Those fan leaves to the right belong to an Old Man Palm, Coccothrinax crinita and the feather leaves in behind belong to a hedge of Cat Palms, Chamaedorea cataractarum. A recently planted Dypsis crinita resides to the right in the foreground.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 12:08PM: The tour moved on, as Tim and the crowd entered the right side (north side) of the house. The property was a large corner lot, so it bordered a street and avenue on two sides. This side also had a large planting bed full of plants and several mature palms, Tim can be seen on the extreme left side guiding people through.

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- A large group of plant people who know each other quite well can lead to some hilarious comments, stories and jokes. Everyone started to laugh at something Jeff Searle on the left had said, don't ask me what though. I did manage to at least, get a photo of Randy smiling.

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- 12:10PM: The canopy around Tim's yard was well established and made areas like this one dark. This is usually a good thing for shade loving palms but made it tricky to photograph. I had to over expose the image to make everyone and everything in the foreground come out visible, at the expense of the clear sky. Jeff and Tim had walked around that showy Bromeliad to examine a cold damaged Calyptrocalyx sp. off to the right of the image. Those silvery fan leaves were part of a larger Zombie Palm, Zombia antillarum, clump. A "small" Canary Island Date Palm, Phoenix canariensis towers over them in the background.

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- A wide shot showing the north side of the garden. In the center, SFPS Director Lou Squros switched between his video camera and his compact digital.

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Ryan

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Moose

Ryan - just curious, did MattyB admit he was wrong on the bamboo ID? unsure.gif

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Gileno Machado

Dropdead beautiful gardens, Ryan...

I guess Attalea is one of the most confusing genera of palms to establish the correct species...they all look so similar. That one in this previous garden is very impressive but I don't think it's a maripa...The one pictured in Lorenzi's book looks more "plumose" and has longer petioles, too.

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BS Man about Palms

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Palmarum
moose knuckle

Ryan - just curious, did MattyB admit he was wrong on the bamboo ID?...

He made fine points in the identity of the bamboo, but I can't do anything more without either going back to take more photos or digging out my Gigantochloa photos, which are older film images stashed in unorganized, countless boxes.

Gileno Machado

Dropdead beautiful gardens, Ryan...

I guess Attalea is one of the most confusing genera of palms to establish the correct species...they all look so similar. That one in this previous garden is very impressive but I don't think it's a maripa...The one pictured in Lorenzi's book looks more "plumose" and has longer petioles, too.

Thank you Gileno, but the photos don't do them justice. To visit the gardens and to see them in person is a whole other experience. It is still quite rare to find mature Attalea species around South Florida, outside Fairchild TB Gardens. One tour goer would not expect to see one unless it its the slightly more common A. cohune. If there were more to see and to see them more frequently, enthusiasts would began to learn their differences. They should be used and collected more often as they are great palms. I have Lorenzi's older, original palm book, not the more diverse modern one that I should also have. It is great for Brazil palms but this Attalea might be a mystery unless I can get a biologist familiar with the cocoid palms, like Larry Noblick, to look at the images.

Ryan

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Palmarum

- 12:10PM: The north side of Tim Blake's yard contained a mix of palms planted in different groupings, often with very rare specimens a few inches away from an established landscape species. Common or not, if a palm is well grown and has trunk, it gets a second look, as does this Majesty Palm, Ravenea rivularis deserves.

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- The average tour goer went blank when they saw this robust Triple Spindle Palm, Hyophorbe verschaffeltii, growing at this point along a bed. They could not identify it. It is very well grown and was neatly trimmed of leaf bases that would otherwise obscure the colorful crownshafts, which is not the typical 'look' of a landscape Spindle Palm. I had Ron get in there for scale, as previous Moose-less photos didn't depict the grouping's size that well.

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- 12:12PM: I went up high for this shot. The tour arrived quickly at the northwest corner of the garden which was home to various Livistona species and one Fishtail Palm, Caryota mitis. The side driveway in front of us led to the left, up to the back of the house to a enclosed parking area, heavily landscaped with palms and different trees.

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- Lenny's at it again as some society board members never get a rest. SFPS Director Lenny Goldstein educates a tour goer on the finer points of identifying date palms, while using this Canary Island Date Palm, Phoenix canariensis, as an example.

RDG2010-03-27_12-12-33.jpg

Ryan

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Palmarum

- 12:14PM: "Dog toys!" As a group, we walked up the side driveway to a wooden fence-paneled gate that hid all views of the backyard. After it was opened, we saw an empty driveway littered with dog toys and one tour goer who shall remain nameless (for now) said "Ah, I think they have a dog."

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- Inspired by the toy diversity, Jeff Searle decided to try one out for himself. This side of the pool enclosure was lined with a tall hedge of Cat Palms, Chamaedorea cataractarum. After he was finished, he offered the toy to nearby tour goer Steve Nock who replied with "Woof."

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- 12:16PM: The pool enclosure on the left ran the length of the entire house, leaving this part of the backyard very long and narrow. The tour walked through at a good pace as we could see a landscaped area up ahead. The hedge of Cat Palms continued down the back of the property while the pool enclosure on the left was lined with Cabada Palms, Dypsis cabadae.

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- 12:17PM: The southwest corner of the garden was well designed as a comfortable seating area, complete with a giant hammock.

RDG2010-03-27_12-17-49.jpg

Ryan

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sick1166

those homeowners are lucky i could not attend I would still be looking and and walking in a daze in the gardens, just amazing thanks for the pics

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Eric in Orlando

Great photos! Those are some impressive collections!

The giant fern is Angiopteris evecta. The large leaf shrub/tree you said looked like a Medinilla is Miconia calvescens. It is a close relative as it is in Melastomataceae.

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epicure3

What a fantastic tour and amazing collection. How long a period has it been since Jeff started collecting and growing palms? Were all these seedlings when planted or were they of varying sizes? That RSW is incredible as is are the Joeys as are, etc....etc....etc...

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Palmarum
sick1166

those homeowners are lucky i could not attend I would still be looking and and walking in a daze in the gardens, just amazing thanks for the pics

The dazed effect was common to almost everyone attending, but you had to put it aside long enough to get to the next garden. You would not have been alone in your dazed state.

Eric in Orlando

...The giant fern is Angiopteris evecta. The large leaf shrub/tree you said looked like a Medinilla is Miconia calvescens. It is a close relative as it is in Melastomataceae.

Thanks Eric for the identifications, as I could not find more info on that tree fern and it is great to get the name on that Miconia.

epicure3

...How long a period has it been since Jeff started collecting and growing palms? Were all these seedlings when planted or were they of varying sizes?...

I am not sure how long in total Jeff Block has been collecting, but the garden he has now is a product of a little over 20 years worth of planting and collecting. Knowing him, he probably got the plants as large as he could, regardless of cost. He did not have many small palms in containers, so he probably plants them soon after he buys them.

Ryan

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Palmarum

- 12:18PM: With all the crazy palm and plant people on the tour, I could not find a single person to get on the hammock. It was not the problem of posing, it was the doubt of getting in and out of it.

RDG2010-03-27_12-18-18.jpg

- The area surrounding the seating area was landscaped with an assortment of common and rare palms, including a big grouping of Cabada Palms, Dypsis cabadae near the house. On the right side of the image, partially obscured by tour goers, is a Wallichia oblongifolia. W. densiflora was the older name for this palm, as it was lumped in with W. oblongifolia.

RDG2010-03-27_12-18-29.jpg

- 12:22PM: The majority of Tim Blake's collection was planted in his front yard, so we breezed through the backyard rather quickly. We made our way through another wooden gate and entered the south side of the front yard, where many of his unusual plants were located. Tim can be seen towards the right vigorously explaining the growth of one plant to grower Steve Nock and SFPS President George Alvarez. On the left in center, collector Chris Mahue and Marie Nock check their shoes for the other key evidence of a dog's existence.

RDG2010-03-27_12-22-18.jpg

- 12:23PM: The southern edge of the front yard was lined with a few different Banana cultivars. Tim takes their fruit production very seriously. He had their culture and growth habits down to a science as he knew exactly when they bloomed, how many stems per clump there should be, how much water and fertilizer to apply, when to apply them and even more details. The refined culture meant to get the most amount of bananas per bunch, from the smallest plant possible.

RDG2010-03-27_12-23-05.jpg

Ryan

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Palmarum

- 12:23PM: The tour was picking up speed as we took sight of the front yard again. The beds in this area were the oldest of the garden and the most heavily planted. The prominent corner bed near the house featured a large clump of Golden Hawaiian Bamboo, Bambusa vulgaris 'Vittata'. I was standing on a convenient hill created by the roots of a nearby tree.

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- 12:24PM: Tour Host Tim Blake took a few moments to explain his Banana culture to tour goers. The attendee in pink to the left of Tim was not bored, she blinked because of the flash.

RDG2010-03-27_12-24-40.jpg

- 12:26PM: We were almost back to the driveway and we began to think about the lunch waiting for us at our next stop. Tim can be seen in the far center of the image, walking through the bed and pointing out a few of the palm species. Immediately behind Tim, was a shadowed Chambeyronia macrocarpa and those feather leaves towards the right belong to a Neoveitchia storckii.

RDG2010-03-27_12-26-29.jpg

- I turned to the left slightly to view towards the backyard. The group had begun to thin a tiny bit as people began to leave and head for the last garden of the day's tour.

RDG2010-03-27_12-26-37.jpg

Ryan

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Palmarum

- 12:29PM: The last palm to catch our attention before leaving for the fourth and final garden, was this Sabal palmetto var. "Lisa". It got its fair share of curious stares and look-overs.

RDG2010-03-27_12-29-37.jpg

- This variety or 'mutant' form of the native Sabal Palm has been slowly gaining popularity as these few cultivated specimens began to show up at sales and in collections. The truncated and abbreviated fan leaves are nearly entire and keep that shape as the palm gets larger. Jeff Searle gives a hand to "Lisa" and held up her newest frond.

It was still early in the tour schedule, but we had seen the great collection Tim was putting together and the majority had begun to move on; after thanking Tim for his hospitality...

RDG2010-03-27_12-29-43.jpg

Garden #4: Dr. Jeff Chait's Plant Menagerie

- 12:43PM: "Can you tell a plant collector lives here?" The promise of food and a tour of Jeff Chait's renown collection made the short trip to his residence seem even longer. It was my second time visiting his garden and I knew there would still be some surprises for me to see. The sight of his front yard amazes me, even the second time seeing it in person. Every square inch is used, often by more than one plant, and this fact holds true for most of his property. The angle of the sun was perfect for this shot and lights up just about every plant. It would be a topic onto itself just to identify every plant in this photo, but I will point out the larger ones: Starting from the left, the columnar tree is Polyalthia longifolia var. pendula, the massive rounded crown in back belongs to a Talipot Palm, Corypha umbraculifera, down front in center showing trunk is a Pigafetta filaris, to the left of the P. filaris is a Neoveitchia storckii, to the right of the P. filaris showing the top of a crown is a Carpoxylon macrospermum, and a mature Satakentia liukiuensis is near the right edge behind the mailbox.

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- Zooming in towards the right shows the driveway surrounded by plants. The crowded landscape methodology continues everywhere and I wonder what Jeff Chait would do with more room for his collection. Near the end of the driveway, you can see a characteristic Coconut Palm that seems to be growing out of the bushes at a 90º angle. This palm was blown over by Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and was left to straighten himself back up. It is a unique garden feature by far, but makes this part of the driveway unusable except for foot traffic. The unseen part of the trunk extends quite a distance back into the bush.

RDG2010-03-27_12-43-46.jpg

Ryan

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palmislandRandy

A couple more of pics from Tim's place. :)

post-1035-12713872750751_thumb.jpg

post-1035-12713872986463_thumb.jpg

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brodklop

Thanks Ryan for a wonderful post. There were so many features it's hard to pick one out. But I must say I'm impressed with those Copernicia ekmanii. Not to mention the other Caribbean stuff.

Cold damage did not seem to bad. I'm amazed the sealing wax was not touched.

What were the maximum day time temps.

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